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Suzanne Lacascade, Marita Bonner, Suzanne Césaire, Dorothy West
Race, Gender, and Comparative Black Modernism revives and critiques four African American and Francophone Caribbean women writers sometimes overlooked in discussions of early-twentieth-century literature: Guadeloupean Suzanne Lacascade (dates unknown), African American Marita Bonner (1899–1971), Martinican Suzanne Césaire (1913–1966), and African American Dorothy West (1907–1998). Reexamining their most significant work, Jennifer M. Wilks demonstrates how their writing challenges prevailing racial archetypes—such as the New Negro and the Negritude hero—of the period from the 1920s to the 1940s, and explores how these writers tapped into modernist currents from expressionism to surrealism to produce progressive treatments of race, gender, and nation that differed from those of currently canonized black writers of the era, the great majority of whom are men. Wilks begins with Lacascade, whom she deems "best known for being unknown," reading Lacascade's novel Claire-Solange, âme africaine (1924) as a protofeminist, proto-Negritude articulation of Caribbean identity. She then examines the fissures left unexplored in New Negro visions of African American community by showing the ways in which Bonner's essays, plays, and short stories highlight issues of economic class. Césaire applied the ideas and techniques of surrealism to the French language, and Wilks reveals how her writings in the journal Tropiques (1941-45) directly and insightfully engage the intellectual influences that informed the work of canonical Negritude. Wilks' close reading of West's The Living Is Easy (1948) provides a retrospective critique of the forces that continued to circumscribe women's lives in the midst of the social and cultural awakening presumably embodied in the New Negro. To show how the black literary tradition has continued to confront the conflation of gender roles with social and literary conventions, Wilks examines these writers alongside the late twentieth-century writings of Maryse Condé and Toni Morrison. Unlike many literary analysts, Wilks does not bring together the four writers based on geography. Lacascade and Césaire came from different Caribbean islands, and though Bonner and West were from the United States, they never crossed paths. In considering this eclectic group of women writers together, Wilks reveals the analytical possibilities opened up by comparing works influenced by multiple intellectual traditions.
Jack Woofter and the Interracial Cooperation Movement
Founded by white males, the interracial cooperation movement flourished in the American South in the years before the New Deal. The movement sought local dialogue between the races, improvement of education, and reduction of interracial violence, tending the flame of white liberalism until the emergence of white activists in the 1930s and after. Thomas Jackson (Jack) Woofter Jr., a Georgia sociologist and an authority on American race relations, migration, rural development, population change, and social security, maintained an unshakable faith in the "effectiveness of cooperation rather than agitation." Race Harmony and Black Progress examines the movement and the tenacity of a man who epitomized its spirit and shortcomings. It probes the movement’s connections with late 19th-century racial thought, Northern philanthropy, black education, state politics, the Du Bois-Washington controversy, the decline of lynching, the growth of the social sciences, and New Deal campaigns for social justice.
Noting that science fiction is characterized by an investment in the proliferation of racial difference, Isiah Lavender III argues that racial alterity is fundamental to the genre's narrative strategy. Race in American Science Fiction offers a systematic classification of ways that race appears and how it is silenced in science fiction, while developing a critical vocabulary designed to focus attention on often-overlooked racial implications. These focused readings of science fiction contextualize race within the genre's better-known master narratives and agendas. Authors discussed include Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and Ursula K. Le Guin, among many others.
Affirmative Action in Jury Selection
Race in the Jury Box focuses on the racially unrepresentative jury as one of the remaining barriers to racial equality and a recurring source of controversy in American life. Because members of minority groups remain underrepresented on juries, various communities have tried race-conscious jury selection, termed “affirmative jury selection.” The authors argue that affirmative jury selection can insure fairness, verdict legitimization, and public confidence in the justice system. This book offers a critical analysis and systematic examination of possible applications of race-based jury selection, examining the public perception of these measures and their constitutionality. The authors make use of court cases, their own experiences as jury consultants, and jury research, as well as statistical surveys and analysis. The work concludes with the presentation of four strategies for affirmative jury selection.
Negotiating the Color Line in Classrooms and Communities
Could your kids be learning a fourth R at school: reading, writing, 'rithmatic, and race? Race in the Schoolyard takes us to a place most of us seldom get to see in action—our children's classrooms—and reveals the lessons about race that are communicated there. Amanda E. Lewis spent a year observing classes at three elementary schools, two multiracial urban and one white suburban. While race of course is not officially taught like multiplication and punctuation, she finds that it nonetheless insinuates itself into everyday life in schools. Lewis explains how the curriculum, both expressed and hidden, conveys many racial lessons. While teachers and other school community members verbally deny the salience of race, she illustrates how it does influence the way they understand the world, interact with each other, and teach children. This eye-opening text is important reading for educators, parents, and scholars alike.
Griggs versus Duke Power and the Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity
In 1966, thirteen black employees of the Duke Power Company's Dan River Plant in Draper, North Carolina, filed a lawsuit against the company challenging its requirement of a high school diploma or a passing grade on an intelligence test for internal transfer or promotion. In the groundbreaking decision Griggs v. Duke Power (1971), the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, finding such employment practices violated Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when they disparately affected minorities. In doing so, the court delivered a significant anti-employment discrimination verdict. Legal scholars rank Griggs v. Duke Power on par with Brown v. Board of Education (1954) in terms of its impact on eradicating race discrimination from American institutions. In Race, Labor, and Civil Rights, Robert Samuel Smith offers the first full-length historical examination of this important case and its connection to civil rights activism during the second half of the 1960s. Smith explores all aspects of Griggs, highlighting the sustained energy of the grassroots civil rights community and the critical importance of courtroom activism. Smith shows that after years of nonviolent, direct action protests, African Americans remained vigilant in the 1960s, heading back to the courts to reinvigorate the civil rights acts in an effort to remove the lingering institutional bias left from decades of overt racism. He asserts that alongside the more boisterous expressions of black radicalism of the late sixties, foot soldiers and local leaders of the civil rights community—many of whom were working-class black southerners—mustered ongoing legal efforts to mold Title 7 into meaningful law. Smith also highlights the persistent judicial activism of the NAACP-Legal Defense and Education Fund and the ascension of the second generation of civil rights attorneys. By exploring the virtually untold story of Griggs v. Duke Power, Smith's enlightening study connects the case and the campaign for equal employment opportunity to the broader civil rights movement and reveals the civil rights community's continued spirit of legal activism well into the 1970s.
Noneconomists often think that economists' approach to race is almost exclusively one of laissez-faire. Racism, Liberalism, and Economics argues that economists' ideas are more complicated. The book considers economists' support of markets in relation to the challenge of race and race relations and argues that their support of laissez-faire has traditionally been based upon a broader philosophical foundation of liberalism and history: what markets have and have not achieved in the past, and how that past relates to the future. The book discusses the concepts of liberalism and racism, the history and use of these terms, and how that history relates to policy issues. It argues that liberalism is consistent with a wide variety of policies and that the broader philosophical issues are central in choosing policies. The contributors show how the evolution of racist ideas has been a subtle process that is woven into larger movements in the development of scientific thought; economic thinking is embedded in a larger social milieu. Previous discussions of policies toward race have been constrained by that social milieu, and, since World War II, have largely focused on ending legislated and state-sanctioned discrimination. In the past decade, the broader policy debate has moved on to questions about the existence and relative importance of intangible sources of inequality, including market structure, information asymmetries, cumulative processes, and cultural and/or social capital. This book is a product of, and a contribution to, this modern discussion. It is uniquely transdisciplinary, with contributions by and discussions among economists, philosophers, anthropologists, and literature scholars. The volume first examines the early history of work on race by economists and social scientists more generally. It continues by surveying American economists on race and featuring contributions that embody more modern approaches to race within economics. Finally it explores several important policy issues that follow from the discussion. ". . . adds new insights that contribute significantly to the debate on racial economic inequality in the U.S. The differing opinions of the contributors provide the broad perspective needed to examine this extremely complex issue." --James Peoples, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee "There is an immense economic literature on racial discrimination, employing a variety of models and decomposition methods. This volume makes a unique contribution by focusing on the philosophical assumptions at the root of this analysis and by presenting many sides of the very vigorous debate surrounding these controversial issues." --Thomas Maloney, University of Utah "By focusing upon the progress of analytical technique, historians of economic thought have grossly neglected the symbiotic relation of economics to public policy and ideology. This collection of essays offers a most welcome breach of disciplinary apartheid. Seizing upon recent research in the almost forgotten writings about race of Classical economists and their contemporaries, it relates nineteenth-century ideas to current debates about economic discrimination and other manifestations of racism. As the writing is both learned and lively, the book should appeal both to the generally educated reader and to teachers of courses in multiculturalism." --Melvin Reder, Isidore Brown and Gladys J. Brown Professor Emeritus of Urban and Labor Economics, University of Chicago
The Rise and Fall of the "Fighting Editor," John Mitchell Jr
Although he has largely receded from the public consciousness, John Mitchell Jr., the editor and publisher of the Richmond Planet, was well known to many black, and not a few white, Americans in his day. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, Mitchell contrasted sharply with Washington in temperament. In his career as an editor, politician, and businessman, Mitchell followed the trajectory of optimism, bitter disappointment, and retrenchment that characterized African American life in the Reconstruction and Jim Crow South.
Best known for his crusade against lynching in the 1880s, Mitchell was also involved in a number of civil rights crusades that seem more contemporary to the 1950s and 1960s than the turn of that century. He led a boycott against segregated streetcars in 1904 and fought residential segregation in Richmond in 1911. His political career included eight years on the Richmond city council, which ended with disenfranchisement in 1896.
As Jim Crow strengthened its hold on the South, Mitchell, like many African American leaders, turned to creating strong financial institutions within the black community. He became a bank president and urged Planet readers to comport themselves as gentlemen, but a year after he ran for governor in 1921, Mitchell's fortunes suffered a drastic reversal. His bank failed, and he was convicted of fraud and sentenced to three years in the state penitentiary. The conviction was overturned on technicalities, but the so-called reforms that allowed state regulation of black businesses had done their worst, and Mitchell died in poverty and some disgrace.
Basing her portrait on thorough primary research conducted over several decades, Ann Field Alexander brings Mitchell to life in all his complexity and contradiction, a combative, resilient figure of protest and accommodation who epitomizes the African American experience in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
At the turn of the twentieth century, Honduras witnessed the expansion of its banana industry and the development of the United Fruit Company and Standard Fruit into multinational corporations with significant political and economic influence in Latin America and the Caribbean. These companies relied heavily on an imported labor force, thousands of West Indian workers, whose arrival in Honduras immediately sparked anti-black and anti-immigrant sentiment throughout the country. Glenn A. Chambers examines the West Indian immigrant community in Honduras through the development of the country’s fruit industry, revealing that West Indians fought to maintain their identities as workers, Protestants, blacks, and English speakers in the midst of popular Latin American nationalistic notions of mestizaje, or mixed-race identity. West Indians lived as outsiders in Honduran society owing to the many racially motivated initiatives of the Honduran government that defined acceptable immigration as “white only.” As Chambers shows, one unintended, though perhaps predictable, consequence of this political stance was the emergence of a clearly defined and separate West Indian enclave that proved to be antagonistic toward native Hondurans. This conflict ultimately led to animosity between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking Hondurans, as well as between West Indians and non–West Indian peoples of African descent. An all-inclusive Afro-Honduran identity never emerged in Honduras, Chambers reveals. Rather, black identity developed through West Indians’ culture, language, and history. Chambers moves beyond treatments of West Indian labor as an accessory to U.S. capitalist interests to explore the ethnic and racial dynamic of the interactions of the West Indian community with locals. In Race, Nation, and West Indian Immigration to Honduras, 1890–1940, Chambers demonstrates the importance of racial identity in Honduran society as a whole and reveals the roles that culture, language, ethnicity, and history played in the establishment of regional identities within the broader African diaspora.